11 PAX posted on a chilly December morning at Bear Creek State Park. Weather was 35 and cloudy at the start and little bit warmer at the finish. 10 mile trail race (loop) in Bear Creek State Park.
Lost Boys and Girls. First of all, it was officially a 10 mile race. The route was changed from last year to a loop route versus and out and back from last year. 8 of the PAX hit the trails and were able to navigate the route and clocked in just over ten miles (between 10.2 and 10.5 depending on who’s GPS you believe). 3 of the PAX did much more than than 10 miles, probably somewhere around 15 for the day. The three who were dissatisfied were Chum, Circle K, and TSB. Chum and TSB caught up with each other on the trail and finally found pay dirt around 3 hours after the start.
Still missing was TSB. YHC was a little bit nervous when she didn’t show up 15 minutes after I finished (since I had seen her at mile marker 7 and knew she was feeling well). After an hour I was internally panicked and trying figure out how to track down a 15 year old in the huge state park. I decided to walk back on the route and see if I could find her (periodically yelling her name along the way). At the same time Honeydo and BT jumped in their cars and searched the surrounding roads. About 3/4 out from the start I ran into Chum and Circle K and my panic rose dramatically (it was my hope that she was lost with them). I walked another mile or so into the woods and ran into another runner looking for his friend. Graham said he had been all the way back to the water stop where i had seen Leigh and there were no others on the route. Panic level rises. He got on the phone to his spouse back at the finish and had others trying to track her down. About 1/4 mile from the finish, I got a call from TSB that she was safe and was being transported back to the finish with another runner that she had been with….Total relief. Honestly, everything was fine emotionally until I hugged her and faced the possibility that she could really have been lost.
Thanks to all the PAX who helped out looking for her (which was everyone on site). One of the best things about the brotherhood of F3 is that you have a group of guys that have your back. I knew that if I asked anyone to go back and rerun the race and search for Leigh, they would eagerly go back and start searching. Knowing that all that support was there kept me calm during the whole process. So enough of that…here is the real story from the rest of there run.
The Bloody Sock: When someone asked at the end for a show of hands for those who had fallen on the run, all but one PAX – L O L A – Lola raised his or her hand. Well done L O L A – Lola. One PAX member who you definitely did not have to ask was SAAB. Saab had blood (frozen blood he said) on both of his lower legs from a fall. Seems Saab took a spill after a couple of miles and hit the deck hard. Several of the PAX stopped to help, but Saab insisted that everyone keep running. He collected himself after a few and then passed all but L O L A – Lola on the way to the finish. YHC didn’t buy the “frozen” blood claim until we got in front of the fire and saw the blood unfreeze and start dripping down his leg. To Saab’s dismay, it made its way all the way to his sparkling white sock and left a sizable stain. Maybe Saab’s socks will soon be found in the baseball hall of fame next to Curt Schilling’s
I’ve been pants.I For a very small time I had a lead on Lab Rat during the run. When he closed in on me about a 1/4 mile into the run, he approached stealthily from behind saying nothing. He passed quietly and took a good yank on the left side of my shorts. The shorts I had on were a bit loose, so what would normally have been a tug sufficient to merely pull the shorts a few inches down had a greater effect. The left side of my behind were totally exposed. Not sure how much of anything else, but the women who was passing me at he same time was quite vocal about her displeasure with the display. (to his credit, Lab Rat said nothing before, during or after this incident making all that much better)
Swirly in a rut. About a mile and 1/2 from the finish, I turned the corner and saw someone who looked like Swirly, Knowing it could not have been him, I did yell out, I just kept running. When I began to pass I found that it was Swirly. Swirly had taken a tumble of his own and hit left foot had found a deep rut on the trail. He was hurting physically, but had the capacity to get himself back to the finish line. The dude gutted out the last 1 1/2 and sprinted over the finish, as you would expect. After Swirly made it clear that he much preferred the safety and rhythm of street running.
Bog and Beers, Smoke and Stories. Right after his finish, Lab Rat engaged in operation food. The “BOG” he made was exceptional and hit the spot post run. He had a full spread prepared for the PAX including some home brew, other drinks, cookies, bread and all the seasonings (actually only one – Tony Chachere’s – which is all that you need). We all sat around the fire for a couple of hour – trying to avoid the smoke (rabbits) and telling stories from the run and old times. It couldn’t have been more fun. Thanks so much to Lab Rat for putting together such a great feast post run!!!!